Our industry is built on transformation. We continuously seek ways to improve safety, reduce costs, and deliver projects that change how communities live, work, and play. As your industry advocates, we always look for ways to better support, promote, and collaborate.
As we approach our 50th anniversary, we saw an opportunity to break down what we do and build something new as we look forward to the next 50 years. One of those things we knew we needed to change was our GVCA Journal. Our members have told us they need a different way to get industry news, updates, and stories.
Print is not dead, not by a long shot. But the Journal needed a digital transformation — and we enlisted Yvan Lamoureux and the team at Crankworks to help bring our new site and digital magazine — Deconstructed — to life.
Crankworks is a Kitchener-based marketing agency that specializes in digital design and advertising. Its team provides services ranging from web and app development to content marketing and PR support. We sat down with Yvan to learn more about how they approached this transformation and what it means for members like you.
How do you approach a digital transformation like the one for the GVCA Journal?
It’s an exciting challenge. The print magazine has been around since 2011. The first thing was to discuss what additional value a digital publication would add over a print publication. We know there’s been a change in print regarding how people interact with media too. So we looked at what could happen if they didn’t have print and distribution costs. The result is that GVCA could free up many resources to support members with other channels.
How will the structure of Deconstructed differ from the GVCA Journal?
We took the structure of the magazine and built on that. It’s a digital magazine that looks like a blog, including past editions of the Journal. We’ve built in all the sections that readers have come to expect — the Crystal Ball Report, the Safety Report — we’ve kept all those because they are the core elements of what the Journal delivered. One of the big changes is that print had a limit on content length. Sometimes, the writers couldn’t go as deep into a story or issue, but Desconstructed doesn’t have those limits. Authors writing in Deconstructed will be able to tell the whole story, so that’s a huge advantage.
The print version comes out six times a year now. Will that change?
We know the readership wants the same frequency, so we’ll publish online every two months. We’ll then look at the analytics and metrics to see if moving to once a month makes sense.
How does going digital change the distribution of Deconstructed?
In the past, the printed version arrived at a member’s office, and maybe one of two people there were able to read it before it found its way to a coffee table in the front office. Now, members will have instant access to the content. Going digital turns these stories, features, and insights into sharable items for social media, newsletters, and other digital channels. We’re also no longer confined to the membership — we have global distribution. That was a decision made by Jeff McIntyre to make Deconstructed to the community and expand the opportunities for businesses outside construction to learn what you’re doing.
How do you see this new shareable feature being used?
Great question! Think about your sales team. If your company has been featured for a new construction method or building, they can show it as a proud piece. Other people at your company might want to bookmark stories or research pieces for future use — now they don’t have to dig through paperwork to find them.
Many members took advantage of the Journal to advertise services. How will that change with Deconstructed?
Being able to reach potential partners is a critical part of Deconstructed. The change is moving from fixed sizes and limited placement options to modular placement opportunities. The same piece of advertising can now appear in multiple areas of Deconstructed. We can also make those ads interactive, including video and audio.
We’re excited for Desconstructed to launch but also fans of print. How do you see the industry moving forward?
We’ve been doing this for a long time. We understand publishing and print still has its place. I’m not advocating that print is gone. The difference is that this is a trade journal, and its value comes from sharing insights and stories from the industry with as wide an audience as possible. We’re excited to be part of this digital transformation with GVCA.
Visit crankworks.ca to learn more about their services and work.
May – June 2023
Article Author: Alex Kinsella